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Food for thought: Scottish Independence?


Scot thumb

With the referendum on Scottish independence on the cards this September, WORLDbytes volunteers hosted this new show entitled ‘Food for thought’ to get to grips with what is going on. Is the Scottish independence campaign ‘phoney’ as the SNP is for the queen, the pound and the EU? Is this really fatalism, a belief that nothing will change so why not ‘walk away’ from the UK and with the same political outfits running the show, hope for the best? Guests don’t hold back from arguing that Scottish independence is a mistake and the campaign is led by a defunct political class who, like colonial overlords rather than democrats, prefer authoritarian behaviour change to substantive ideas. As one volunteer at the table puts it, if they have great ideas “why not argue for them UK wide.”

Related topics: Debates, Global

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englishlion85 said:

Massive turnout from the sweatys! If it’s yes there’s no goin back there goin to be in trouble! Ain’t goin to affect us!!

Paul said:

As a child I thought of Scotland and England equally. I liked the Scottish identity as I liked the English identity. I felt that the English, the Scots, the Welsh and the N. Irish were just regional partners in a nation with common interests and values. As I grew up though, I recognised the resentment and anti-English sentiments harboured in a large proportion of Scots and I feel very sad that this has fostered some anti-Scots feelings in me in return. Not to all of course, but to the likes of Alex Salmond and the other Scots that for some reason have a very large chip on their shoulders and seem to feel that the English are out to get one over on them.

For the sake of the majority of Scots (including a large proportion that choose to live and work in England), I really hope the decision taken keeps us together. But if the Scots vote for independence, then I look forward to a new future for England where we don’t have to subsidise Scotland’s over-expenditure on policies paid for by the English so many of them seem to resent, and I look forward to seeing the naive stories used by a bullying Alex Salmond fall apart at the seams as time goes by.

Adam said:

Hello everyone. I am English and have not really given this topic much thought until recently, but I would like to share my views regardless. I think that this referendum has been brought about far to hastily and hasn’t been given much thought at all considering it is such a massive issue. People are being swayed by selfish show boating louts like Salmand and it is giving the Scottish people a bad look. Most of the yes crowd believe that they want to become independent because they want to make their own choices and not have everything decided for them. But with any government independent or otherwise, that government will decide what is best for the people regardless of what the pee think, as had always been the way. For the Scottish people to say they are fed up of not being heard, hadn’t labour been in power for 13 years out of the previous 17 up until this year? Which has been the majority vote of the Scottish people. I do feel that the Scottish citizens feel hard done by but it is purely because people such as Salmand have crammed useless information down there throat just because it’s what they want to hear not unlike any other politician. I say to all the undecided people vote no and help fix what is broken, not abandon it!

jo said:

i also come from austailia

jo said:

yo my name is jo and i work in a button factory
one day my boss came up to me he said
i said
he said
i said
he said
can u push this button with your right hand hand

Mark Smith said:

Never hated an person for being English in my life, just very proud to be Scottish it doesn’t need to go hand in hand, everybody has stated that Scotland could make it on its own but the “better together” is more like the “worse on your own” campaign, border, controls behave if I go to Ireland and drive south I don’t get my Passport checked, as for living under the Bank of England we are all at the mercy of the Banks and as we have seen recently we are affected by market forces across the globe

graham webb said:

As a Scot I am moving all my savings from Scotland to England into English banks but voting for independence
I cant take the risk that my savings disappear or that after independence they stop money flowing across borders.
Also my money is safer backed by a rich England and the Bank of England
Why risk it? I can always move it back afterwards but why would I?
I want independence but will not take a chance with my own money. No way!

John said:

M.Skarpa says below that the Scots lost their language. What language would that be ? Gaelic or Scots ? By the time of the union few people spoke Gaelic and in any event a language is given up by the people who speak it and not lost. Why were the French-Canadians able to keep their language after actually being conquered when Scotland “lost” its languages without any such major political event ? They must have just…decided not to bother ? It is more likely they just let them slip away through the same laziness that leads many people to believe ridiculous nationalist myths such as Culloden being a battle between England and Scotland rather than between the Whig establishment ( in both England and Scotland) on the one hand and the Tory Jacobites (in both England and Scotland) on the other. And that the “people” actually even had a say on which side they would have been fighting for- tell that to the highlander who fought for Prince Charles only because of a threat by his tacksman to take back his 1/3 acre small holding if he didn’t . The sad reality is that this referendum is just another cynical attempt by a small group of ideologues to get power in order to do God knows what. The UK and Scotland have been greatest when Scotland has been running the UK as it has done now for quite some time. Long may they continue to do so. Oh and it is my money. I earned it. It is not “ours”. If I was going to be in anything together with anyone It would be with the few Gaelic speaking Catholic Highlanders left in this world -who are all in Nova Scotia ! At least they are of Scottish descent unlike most of the Glaswegians who are driving the Yes bus.

M. Skarpa said:

Each nation is entitled to independence, regardless of whether the gurus of the establishment consider it to be “better” or “worse” for the nation concerned. I am personally fed up with the debate about the consequences of the “Yes” vote; whereby the consideration of Scottish national identity, its status in international community is left out. The Better doesn’t mean only materially better. What is value for the Scots of having the “benefit” of the centuries old “happy” union, in which they have lost their language, and have been gradually anglicised to the point that 50% of them are going to vote in favour of the current subservient status quo, in which the Scotland will continue to be an English appendix? Isn’t it a shame to face the fact that the international status of Scotland is not on par with Slovakia, countries of the former Yugoslavia; not to mention San Marino, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Andorra or Luxemburg, or numerous island mini-states that used to be English and French colonies from one side, and several independent European states of approximately same size as the Scotland is.

John said:

I am a Canadian but have a few thoughts: (i) Why does the Yes camp want to expand immigration from continental Europe but want to distance itself from its English (and culturally similar, but of course not identical) neighbours ? (ii) If independence is not based on an idea of cultural identity, as Mr. Salmond claims it is not, then is it based on the idea that Scottish people (the majority at least) are more socialist than the English ? This does not seem borne out by the polls. (iii) Why can’t the Yes campaign be based on the fact that Scotland has a distinct cultural identity from England ? Isn’t that what countries are about in the first instance ? (iv) Aren’t the “clan” tartans that many Yes supporters favour themselves a (whether legitimate or not) statement by those that wear them that they belong to a particular family and therefore inherently a racial (not racialist…) comment ? Isn’t that all right ? If there was someone who wanted to build an independent Scotland of culturally (not racially) similar people but with fiscally responsible (i.e., not undergraduate level socialist) economic policies then I would understand. But the current gang looks like a weird coalition of Trotskyite Glaswegian socialists that if they were ideologically consistent would be pushing to abandon the nation state, not create a new one. And p.s., even if you take all of someone’s money, that won’t make them like you !

Koenraad said:

Look at the success of Lightenstein and Andorra and there successful banking system. If Scotland vote no, I will never drink a Scotch Wiscky again. I expected more guts from the Scotch.

Koenraad said:

Mike has a tippical colonial attitude. Lets take out all what is ”US” out and see how the are doing then.Ha,Ha,Ha.

Mike said:

I am English and have always thought that overall the rest of the UK subsidised Scotland – and I still think that is the case. Let Scotland be indpendent, bring home all our jobs, weapons, subsidies, assets etc and let Scotland go it alone. Let the BBC bring home all its assets and stop producing programmes for Scotland. This is not sour grapes – which other country in the EU subsidises another – unless its to support the Euro. In this case Scotland would not be in a formal shared currency – so the UK would control the pound and Scotland would have no say whatsoever. Lets cut the ties, set Scotland free and see what happens. In the meantime the rest of the UK can focus on our improving economy – which will improve more as we bring home our jobs and assets. Its a winner for the rest of the IK

ray said:

as rabbie said:a pounds a pound for all that

K.Van Linden Tol said:

I’m from the Netherlands.To the Scottisch people I say.Cut the rope en become Independent.About ” nationalisme”.David Osborn won his election on a anti foreign Campaign.Witch result that England is taken to Court by the EU. This court case will at least take 4years. Kosts a couple of millions. They will lose the case and have to pay millions on compensation. Who will pay for it. The working class and the PENSIONERS. Footballers and there Clubs have a one trak mind MONEY. There IQ is below average.It also shows a disrespect for the Scotish supporters. If you have your own currency,say the”Thor ” should be equal to the pound.
I haven’t heard of any bank saying,Tey would take any negative measures if Scotland will become independent. Wish you all good luck.

Gabriella said:

It would be a disaster if Scotland becomes independent! All that will happen is that Scotland would end up bankrupt and they would not have the support from the bank of England! Universities over there will not be free anymore and it would just be a really bad situation economically wise. People have not thought ANY of this through! People just think that now they will be proper Scottish! Can people just stop and think! This whole thing is stupid! Honestly, what is wrong with Scotland now?

Ed S said:

If Scotland goes independent, what effect(s) will that have on the Royal Family and on the royal assets? Does Scotland remain part of the Commonwealth? And what happens to the BBC? I don’t think I have seen the answers to these questions.

Jakesonaplane said:

I Completely understand why the scots need to say yes to Independence/separation and I personally think if anyone can forge a successful independent nation it would be the Scottish. I am torn at the same time, my family roots come as much from Scotland as anywhere. “Great Britain” feels to many like a fractured and broken nation with no real direction, social cohesion and decaying/non-existent sense of common ground beyond personal self interest and an unhealthy dependence on a mistrusted and incompetent “nanny State”. I think the frustrations/fears of the scots are actually also felt by many other people/communities on this small island and with the scots departure any sense that we can all live together in harmony will be greatly diminished. I have always felt a great sense of pride that despite a turbulent and often unjust history especially as that suffered in historical terms by the scots that we have over many years of trial and ERROR developed a nation where any man on this island can call any part of it his/her home and still connect and be free to identify with their roots. Our system of governance is by no means perfect and needs to be kept in check and adjusted accordingly. Due to current apathy, disconnect and the stale nature of politics at this time it must seem like the only way to shake it up and get results these days is to leave it behind altogether, but i’m not convinced this is the best policy and we should all be weary of people who promise “power back to the people” as if they really intend to deconstruct the “elite” and create a system that is much better than the one we currently enjoy/suffer. We all, in my opinion need to keep one eye on the global convulsions currently being witnessed. The slow decay of the global Westphalian nation construct we have, in the west been used to for over 400 years and the shifting tides of power that follow… so sticking together makes sense. All that said I wish for you my brothers and sisters the best of luck. My brothers and sisters with whom currently I share one small island with.

Neil Duncan said:

What will all the Welch and English people who are now living in Scotland do and what will all the Scots living in England have to do if the vote is yes? will they all have to have a passport and visa?

niki said:

Petrol is not going to last for ever.

One big country is stronger and more prosperous than two small ones, think about the enormous amount of money you would need for defence. plus, plus.

It does sound to me that Scotland and its people would be facing many difficulties and dangers and uncertain future with out Britain.

It is wise to stay together

George said:

Even if you are not interested in the greater issues facing society today you can still relate to the points raised here simply as a fellow human being. Amazing video.

David from Essex said:

I was watching the Scottish referendum debate last night which was very interesting and I don’t claim to have known much about it before-hand but it even got me doing some research in my home time and everything!

As it currently stands, Scottish Revenue including a geographical share of North Sea oil is currently £53.1bn (figures as per GERS or Government Expenditure and Review Scotland), their current public spending however (according to the same source) and including a proportional share of UK national debt is £65.2bn, leaving a shortfall of £12.1bn. Their national deficit rose to 8.3% from 5% in 2012-13.

Their unemployment is currently at 6.5% or 179,000 which is below the UK average, but I don’t think that this tells the full story – there are currently 31,000 Scots employed by the UK civil service including 9,860 in HMRC and 9,020 in the department of work and pensions and job centre plus. The jobs were moved North to help reduce unemployment there, but If Scotland devolved from the union, it stands to reason that these jobs would be moved down south to areas like Newcastle and Sunderland where the jobs would be appreciated. Then there’s the Faslane naval base and shipyard, with over 8,000 people employed, it is the largest single site employer in Scotland. It exists to service the navy’s nuclear submarine fleet, to build the Royal Navy’s ships and to service the new aircraft carriers – again, if Scotland devolved it stands to reason that these contracts, services and jobs would be moved down to Newcastle, Liverpool or Portsmouth. So the resultant effect would be 39,000 more unemployed just from these two sources alone – god knows how many other ‘UK-centric’ roles would be moved South of the order as a result??? For example, there are associated companies like BAE systems who would also likely move folowing the closure of Faslane and other Scottish army/navy bases.

Also, the proposed Scottish armed force would consist 3,500 men – so I imagine a load more unemployed there then too – I guess current serving Scots would have to be phased out of the UK armed forces to avoid conflicts of interest/divided loyalties? Also, with England sitting between Scotland and Europe, I imagine the UK would impose some form of toll on imports being driven through the England or transported through UK territorial waters?

From what I can tell, the argument for independence is based only on a dislike of England and on the promise of oil revenues which has (depending on the source you read) around 30-50 years production left . Seems like a short term, knee jerk to me which would only ever bring short term gain and long term hardship? Not entirely sure if the long term linking of the currencies would be to the UK’s interest either and so doubt it would be adopted.

Calum said:

It looks like you are doing something interesting here. Great start. The speakers could be gently challenged more so too much rubbish doesn’t cloud the debate. A lot of it does not stand up to fact and just contradicts itself in front of the speakers face. Confidence is not substitute for intelligence. It is not al Jezeera but it is a lot better than the BBC. ( Very similar format to an AJ program actually! ) Check out the SSP. An independent Scotland will have no House of Lords and a written constitution. A beacon for our rUK comrades. Rather than labour members being organised to go up to Scotland to support the No side on a day trip they may be coming up in future to find out how they can achieve the same for their communities. There is pelty of ggreen energy in the North of England as well! Thatcher DID NOT set the future. That era is history. So much is possible once you beign to believe that hope is in your hands if only for a day and change is on the way. Keep it up with the telly stuff – way better than Paxman!

Ahmed said:

Good video discussion and good points raised I have lived in Scotland for ten years but now moved South for work so I don’t have a vote but it seems bad news to me and a phoney kind of independence battle as Scottish people are not oppressed by English imperialism and it all seems driven by a disbelief in politics rather than a vision. Tragic either way really as it won’t put any positive change on the map North or South.

Mohamed said:

it’s good that people in England have the chance here in this video to discuss this issue as doesn’t it affect all of us who live in the UK? I’m not saying we should have a vote though. I do think it is worrying that very old ideas of ‘difference’ are creeping in to the Scottish debate and I really don’t buy it or the idea that Scotland is more radical. What next should Bradford walk away because we have more Muslims?

Aisha P said:

The problem is what does it mean to be British these days, I have been here since I was 4 so I think I am but what does that mean? If it is about values what values? There doesn’t seem to be a serious discussion about what popular sovereignty is in fact the SNP don’t really seem to be in to sovereignty either given their belief in the crown and the EU.

Winston Olufemi said:

Interesting video it has made me think how fatalistic this is-you can’t change things so walk away, having said that the better together campaign is really uninspiring too.

Alina said:

I think its is very sad that people think independence will solve the poor governance they have had, they are afterall voting for the same bunch of politiians.

Stephen said:

As an ENGLISHMAN i just hope and pray that you Scottish bastards vote yes for independence the rest of the UK will be better off with out you. If the First Minister of Scotland thinks as an independent Scotland he is going to keep the £ and have the BANK of ENGLAND and the rest of the UK propping up the banks and financial institutions in an independent Scotland he is living in la la land. Further if Scotland votes for independence then HMRC should close ALL its offices in Scotland and move them to the rest of the UK. Also all the armed forces bases should be closed and move south of the border with in the rest of the UK and ALL Scottish army regiments disbanded. Also we the rest of the UK should put punitive import duties on any product that an independent Scotland sells to the us and as a priority source anything the UK buys at the moment from the rest of the world. So a YES vote for me will be magnificent good bye and good riddance.

brian r said:

I started off being against scottish independence. It seemed to me to be patently obvious that scotland was better off in the Union. Now that Salmond’s many lies have been exposed, the legal advice on the EU, currency union, EU membership, no border controls, the gas and oil “wealth”, it’s time to re-consider. The referendum has revealed the deep-seated hatred of scotland for England. Much like spitting on the person that hauls you out of the sewer where you were drowning. Now it has been displayed, it’s time for England/UK to “divorce” scotland. Let’s see how it gets on without EU membership, because it’ll be at least 5 years before scotland gets in. If ever. Membership depends on a unanimous vote. Let’s see how it gets on without the nearly £2,000 per person given to scotland every year for infrastructure. Let’s see how scotland gets on surrounded by countries to which it has no automatic access. Where entering England, the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Ireland, the Channel Islands or any member state of the EU requires submitting to the same controls, for persons or goods, that would be applied if entering the United States. And there will be no easy way back. The largest electorate in the United Kingdom is that of England. English voters won’t be “in favour” of scotland for many generations.

brian said:

why are they not asking questions like; will Scottish goods need an export licence,? will they have to pay import duty,? what will be the exchange rate,?
will there be Passport controls,? What will happen about the border,? what will happen if it all goes pear shaped,? these are just a few of the questions I would ask.

Natasha said:

It was interesting how they claimed that the vote for Scottish independence was largely due to reasons not nationalistic. I think it is naive of people to use independence as the way out of their problems when they haven’t thought through the consequences enough. It was mentioned that a lot of factors such as being accepted in the EU were assumed if Scotland became independent. And if they did become independent but the changes didn’t happen that they thought would, it would only create more discontent.

Aman said:

An extremely thought provoking discussion about a very important referendum in our country’s history, takes into account all issues concerning the debate, political, social and economical, a must watch for those who are interested in the debate!

funmi said:

I’m against Scottish independence; the UK and Scotland have been united for over 300 years. If they are stronger together, why destroy that?

Rezwana said:

I believe that Scotland should not become an independent country because we are stronger as a union (United Kingdom) and is also better for the economy. Also, Alex Salmon’s plan to remain part of the EU is absurd as it contradicts the ideas of being an independent country!